How can you provide a supportive environment?
- Help the child or young person understand his or her strengths and how to work on his or her areas of difficulty. (Communication Passport)
- Set up the environment that facilitates effective communication, which may mean designing an individual approach, and reduces frustration.
- Help individuals compensate for difficulties they may encounter or experience by providing supportive strategies and interventions which can develop and grow as the child matures and develops
- Be aware of your own behaviour -this may need to be modified and may include having a change in mind-set, what we previously felt as appropriate may not necessarily work with a child or young person with autism.
- Do not impose unrealistic and unachievable expectations, consider setting SMART targets that have been individualised after carefully evaluated observations in a variety of social and educational settings.
- Remember that the world can be a very confusing place for the child or young person with autism. They are not intentionally trying to be challenging, they may be frustrated and are unable to communicate effectively with you on how they are feeling or may not have the communication skills to express their need for support.
- Teaching and empowering the child or young person with autism to function independently is important in building capacity and in supporting the development of resilience skills such as identifying strengths, developing coping skills/flexibility, developing a positive attitude and being able to regulate emotions.
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